Where The Wild Things Are, a book which broke the molds, is the topic of my Daily Doodle today. Author Maurice Sendak was born June 10, 1928. During his teenage years when he wasn’t making books, he was reading. He proclaimed Disney to be of the most interest, saying, "My ambition was to work for Disney.” Though now he says Disney has beautiful stories and had abused the idea of animation.
Maurice Sendak as a writer, as an illustrator, and as both, has been associated with a number of successful children’s books. Maurice’s first published work were illustrations for a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions in 1947. He continued to illustrate other people’s children’s books, before he was given the chance to write and draw his own. Kenny’s Window, which was published in 1956 was the first book he wrote and illustrated.
Where The Wild Things Are was published April 9, 1963. The work was considered groundbreaking for its honest treatment of children’s emotions, especially anger, and it won the 1964 Caldecott Medal.
Although now considered a classic, Where the Wild Things Are was initially met with mixed reviews, as some critics claimed it would traumatize children. However, others praised the work for dealing with childhood anger, noting that it explains the purpose of “time-outs,” assists children with anger management, and teaches them to channel their tempers creatively. It also shows young readers that even if they sometimes want to be wild things, a home with loving discipline is the best place to be. In addition, Max’s adventures demonstrate that children’s imaginations are a wonderful thing, taking them anywhere they want to go.
The ‘Things’ in the book were based on Maurice’s relatives. Maurice began to draw his ‘Things’, which he wanted to be personal creations rather than stereotypical and traditional monsters. He soon realized his inventions were similar to his Jewish relatives from his childhood, who came for Sunday lunch each week and often told him he “looked so good we could eat you up”. He focused on their appearance as entertainment when he was younger, and this is what inspired the ‘Wild Things’.
Where the Wilds Things Are has been adapted many times. In the 1980s, Maurice worked with the British composer Oliver Knussen on a children’s opera based on the book, which was most notably performed at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2002. In 1983, Walt Disney conducted a series of computer-generated imagery tests, using Where The Wild Things Are as their subject. In 2009, a live-action film version of the book was released, directed by Spike Jonze who also co-wrote the script with David Eggers and with Maurice as one of the producers.